The Lesson of the Master (Art of the Novella)

The Lesson of the Master (Art of the Novella)

by Henry James

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Overview

"You know as well as you sit there that you'd put a pistol-ball into your brain if you had written my books!"

Exemplifying Henry James's famous belief that "Art makes life," The Lesson of the Master is a piercing study of the life that art makes. When the tale's protagonist—a gifted young writer—meets and befriends a famous author he has long idolized, he is both repelled by and attracted to the artist's great secret: the emotional costs of a life dedicated to art.

With extraordinary psychological insight and devastating wit, the novella asks the question of whether art is, ultimately, demeaning or ennobling for the artist, while capturing the ambiguities of a life devoted to art, and the choices artists must make. The expatriate James knew these choice well by the time he published the novella in the Universal Review in 1888, and the work reveals him at the height of his powers.

The Art of The Novella Series

Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780974607849
Publisher: Melville House Publishing
Publication date: 05/28/2004
Series: Art of the Novella Series
Pages: 122
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Henry James was born in New York City in 1843, the son of theologian Henry James, Sr., and brother of philosopher William James. He entered Harvard Law School at nineteen but soon quit to write and travel in Europe – to Paris, for example, where he met Flaubert, Turgenev, George Eliot, and Zola. Settling in London in 1876, he gained international fame with Daisy Miller, which scandalized Victorian society and sold thousands of copies. Never again would he equal its popularity, but his increasingly sophisticated and meticulously observed works, such as The Golden Bowl and The Ambassadors, established him as the first master of psychological fiction. He died in England in 1916.

His novella, The Coxon Fund, is also a part of The Art Of The Novella series.

Date of Birth:

April 15, 1843

Date of Death:

February 28, 1916

Place of Birth:

New York, New York

Place of Death:

London, England

Education:

Attended school in France and Switzerland; Harvard Law School, 1862-63

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